Crash guards or bull bars on cars are illegal – Government of India

If you have a modified car or are planning to have one, you might want to have a look at this article.

There are certain car modifications that can be carried out without prior permission while there are some that are considered totally illegal. Though rules and regulations on vehicle alteration could vary, there area some illegal car modifications, which are the most commonly resorted to by new vehicle owners who often find themselves on the wrong side of the law as a result of it.

Certain modifications on cars are considered illegal unless approved by the RTO. Buyers of new vehicles or those planning to modify their old cars should get these plans passed by the local RTO or be prepared to pay a hefty price.

While some modifications are well within the permissible limits, there are others which are totally illegal. These are as follows:

1. Crash guards or Bull bars

This is also the newest entrant. Earlier this month, Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, Government of India, announced that installing crash guards or bull bars on motor vehicles are illegal. Below is a copy of their announcement.

2. Engine Swap –

Every car produced is tested with that particular engine. It has the engine and chassis number engraved on the RC and any changes made to this engine or completely swapping it with a new one is considered illegal. In the event of buyer wanting to change the engine, prior approval from the RTO should be sought. This process is long, cumbersome and could cost the car owner some money. Modification plans should be clearly stated, and even if approval is given, the car will have to be tested by authorized agencies such as the ARAI, etc at owner’s cost.

3. Headlights –

Image – Team-BHP

Proper headlights that conform to specifications are necessary for any vehicle and these specifications and dimensions are laid down as per IS 8415-1977 of Bureau of Indian Standards. Rule 104(3) of Central Motor Vehicles Regulations (CMVR) also specifies that all vehicles should be fitted with two or four headlamps which should necessarily be positioned upto 1.5 meters from the ground.

The rule book also specifies that range of headlamps should extend to a minimum of 155 meters while they should be downward facing so as not to blind oncoming drivers at a distance of more than 8 meters from the front of the headlamp. Specifications even dictate that dual filament H4 halogen headlights are mandatory with maximum wattage of 60 watts for high beam and 55 watts for low beam.

4. Fog Lamps –

If fitting additional fog lamps to the vehicle, owners need to ensure that the same comply with Rule 104 and 106 of CMVR. Like the headlamps, these fog lamps too have to be fitted only upto a height of 1.5 meters from the ground, it should not dazzle oncoming drivers and cannot be fitted onto the roof of the vehicle. If in the event the vehicles are fitted with roof mounted fog lamps, they should be used only on off roads and not on public roads where they should be covered with a black cloth.